**FILE PHOTO**

A number of children-only coronavirus vaccination clinics have already opened in Maryland over the past few days in the wake of the federal approval of vaccinations for youths ages 5 to 11.

An estimated 200 initial doses of the two-shot regimen of the Pfizer-BioNTech pediatric vaccine were offered Saturday for the first time at the Baltimore Convention Center Field Hospital, WBAL-TV reported. Elsewhere, appointment-only sites for that age group have been set up at the shuttered Sears store in White Marsh, on the campus of Howard Community College and at Anne Arundel Community College.

“We think this is the road home,” Dr. Chuck Callahan, director of the convention center field hospital, told WBAL. “This is this is really, we believe, the home stretch in the pandemic. Getting this last population of children vaccinated is going to be our ticket, I think, into what will be a new normal in the year 2022.”

Plans for the latest vaccination push began in earnest last week after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gave final approval for children ages 5 to 11 to get reduced doses of the Pfizer vaccine.

National retail pharmacy chains such as Walgreens, CVS and Rite Aid will also offer vaccinations for those children, though participating locations vary.

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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